SOUTH AFRICAN ADVOCACY GROUPS WLCOME COURT DECISION ON INDEPNDENCE OF SABC BOARD

| June 20, 2018

JOHANNESBURG-- A number of public advocacy groups, including the SOS Coalition, Media Monitoring Africa and Freedom of Expression Institute, has welcomed the decision of the High Court to dismiss an application for leave by the Minister of Communication to appeal a 2017 decision by Justice Keoagile Elias Matojane regarding the powers of the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The historic ruling from October 2017, which affirmed the independence of the SABC Board, stands.

It's excellent for the independence of the SABC Board because it means the executive members of the Board are to be appointed solely by the non-executive members of the Board and without any requirement of approval by the Minister, they said in a statement here Tuesday.

In other words, the SABC Board appoints the public broadcaster's Group Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer and others. The SABC Board therefore can proceed with the process of filling the vacant CFO and GCEO positions independently without ministerial interference.

The ruling also means the Board has the power to institute disciplinary proceedings against the GCEO, CFO or Chief Operating Officer (COO) and also have the right and power to suspend the employment of the GCEO, CFO or COO.

The issues are crucial as it means the SABC Board can hire without ministerial interference and institute disciplinary process without Ministerial interference.

On Monday, Justice Matojane dismissed the application for leave to appeal with costs after Counsel for the Minister of Communications failed to appear in the High Court hearing in Pretoria.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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